a group of people sitting at a table looking at a map

8 ways to make a successful content marketing campaign

Do you know how to create a successful content marketing campaign? Content marketing is one of the most efficient and effective ways to influence customers, boost lead generation and drive sales. When you realize how easy it is to attract customers with great content, you'll want to add content creation to your company's digital marketing plan as quickly as possible.

Key takeaways

  • Content marketing is about using valuable content to attract customers and increase sales.

  • Content marketing utilizes web articles, blog and social media posts, videos, podcasts and more.

  • To create a successful content marketing campaign, define your goals, research your customers, determine topics and distribution channels and avoid operations bottlenecks.

What is content marketing—and why is it important?

Content marketing is a strategy that uses relevant content to attract and retain a targeted audience and increase sales. High quality content enhances other forms of marketing, including social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), public relations, visual content, video content, PPC advertising, event marketing and more. 

It's also one of the best drivers to boost key metrics and KPIs such as:

  • organic traffic
  • pageviews
  • conversion rates
  • social shares
  • SEO rankings

What types of content are used for content marketing? 

Content marketing includes content distributed in a variety of channels and media, including:

  • web articles

  • blogs 

  • landing pages

  • infographics

  • social media posts

  • user-generated content

  • videos

  • email marketing

  • podcasts

  • white papers

  • case studies

  • online courses

  • webinars

most popular assets used in content marketing

image source

Some content marketing is distributed via free placement, such as website articles and blog posts. Many marketers supplement these free channels with paid content channels, like boosted social media posts and search engine marketing. 

Most popular paid content distribution channels.

image source

Why should your business embrace content marketing?

There are several reasons why 82% of marketers engaged in content marketing in 2021. Some of the more significant benefits of content marketing include:

  • More cost-effective than other forms of marketing

  • Yields more substantial ROI than traditional advertising

  • Drives brand awareness

  • Enhances customer acquisition

  • Compliments ecommerce marketing efforts

  • Boosts revenue

  • Builds customer loyalty

How to create a successful content marketing campaign

Your business has content that current and potential customers should find valuable. To attract customers with your content, you need to create an effective content marketing campaign. Here's a template to help build your best content ideas and transform them into a memorable user experience. 

Steps for a successful content marketing campaign.

1. Define your goals

You need to know what you want to accomplish before developing a campaign. Do you want to:

  • Promote a new product or service? 

  • Increase brand awareness?

  • Establish your company as a thought leader?

  • Generate leads?

  • Generate sales?

  • Extract more sales from existing customers?

  • Ensure customer satisfaction with a previous purchase?

    The goals you set will help you determine what piece of content to produce and where to distribute it. Your goals also give you something concrete with which to measure campaign success. 

2. Do your research

Knowing who you're marketing to is critical, which means you need to research your target audience. You need to understand who your target customer is, what they need, what they want or expect and where they go for information. 

Creating customer personas, profiles and other valuable information for each demographic you're trying to reach will streamline the content creation process. 

Without this data, you're essentially throwing your content into the dark without a clue as to how it will work. 

3. Determine topics & keywords

Knowing your goals and who your customers are helps you determine what topics to cover in campaigns. This goes hand-in-hand with choosing a short list of keywords for each campaign. Use SEO tools to determine what customers interested in this topic will be searching for and build your content around them (include those keywords in your content).

4. Choose where to distribute content

Another byproduct of your customer research is learning where customers go for information on a given topic. Don't assume that all potential customers will flock to your website or follow your Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook feeds. Determine what outlets social media channels your customers use daily and where they search for product information. Those are the channels you want to use to distribute your content. 

5. Develop your content

Now that you know who your customers are, where they're active, and what topic(s) they're interested in (and you're interested in promoting), it's time to develop the necessary content assets. You may already have these assets in-house, or you may need to create new content. Don't assume that the content you already have is the content you—and your customers—need. 

Also, don't assume that readily available content is in the right format for the media you choose. Writing a long website article is different from writing a short social media post, and they're both different from developing content for a podcast or video. The content you deliver must be appropriate for the media you choose. 

This may mean utilizing different teams working in tandem to produce content for different media. You need copywriters to develop long-form articles and white papers, savvy social media mavens for your tweets and Instagram posts and a fully-equipped production team to shoot your online videos. Make sure they're all working together with the same goal in mind while focusing on their own unique areas. 

6. Distribute your content

When your content is ready, it's time to distribute it. Post all your content according to a content calendar and get ready to start tracking the results. And, as the results come in, use that data to tweak other content types in the pipeline and fine-tune future campaigns.

7. Avoid content operations bottlenecks

According to the Content Marketing Institute's 2021 Content Management and Strategy Survey, one of the biggest impediments to a successful content marketing campaign is the content operations workflow. There's a reason why 57% of businesses surveyed have a strong or moderate desire to adopt new content management technology. It's vital that you manage your content marketing operations so that the content your business creates isn't siloed away in individual departments. You need to coordinate all content marketing activities and have all content readily available.

You eliminate content operation bottlenecks by employing a robust content marketing system (CMS). A CMS integrates content from different systems, coordinates activities between team members and streamlines the entire content marketing workflow. 

8. Measure content success

Your content marketing efforts need to be validated through data, metrics and goals. 

Inbound marketing generates leads that can be used to track conversions and sales. You'll want to use forms, UTMs and Google analytics goal funnels to see which content is performing best—tying content to your ROI.

Turn to Optimizely to manage your content marketing campaigns

To develop a more successful content marketing strategy, turn to the experts at Optimizely. Our Content Cloud CMS and Content Marketing Platform streamlines the collaborative workflow inherent in content marketing. It automates content authoring, management and deployment across various media, helping you create more effective content marketing campaigns.